Sept. 27, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — When Megan Menzel was given the chance to become the fourth head coach in Iowa women’s golf history, she jumped. After all, it gave her an opportunity to return home.
Menzel was a fast-riser in the women’s collegiate golf coaching ranks. After closing her playing career at the University of New Mexico in 1997, she was tabbed as the head coach at Boise State in 1998 at the age of 23.
After one season with the Broncos, she moved to Colorado State for two seasons, where Menzel led the Rams to two NCAA Regional appearances. She then relocated to the Big 12 Conference and the University of Kansas from 2002-04, before “retiring” at the age of 28 to focus on her growing family.
“I’ve been able to pick right back up with my enthusiasm for the University of Iowa. It feels like I am coming home.”
UI head women’s golf coach Megan Menzel
“It was a hard decision, but I’ve always tried to keep my family first,” said Menzel, who led the Hawkeyes to a third place showing in her UI debut at the Chip-N-Club Invitational on Sept. 12-13. “I felt I was making the right decision at the time.
“One of my fears was whether I would be able to get back into college coaching. I feel very fortunate and excited to be back in the game.”
Menzel is not only back in collegiate coaching, but this opportunity has given her a chance to return to her roots. She was born in Cedar Rapids and lived there until 1986. Menzel grew up watching and supporting the UI athletics department. She is, and has been, a Hawkeye at heart.
“Just being from here, and growing up here, I would call myself a Hawkeye,” she said. “My family came to the games when I was a kid. Some of my fondest memories are going to dinner one night with George Raveling. I was always a big fan of Lute Olson and was here during those exciting times of Iowa athletics.”
Menzel inherits a team that returns five letterwinners and has a three-player freshman class that includes a pair of nationally ranked student-athletes.
“I think we have a lot of nice players, players with a lot of experience and confidence,” said Menzel. “I want to see them start playing to their potential. We need to make sure we do the right things every day fundamentally and mentally, preparing for what we’re going up against. I would like to make some small gains there, and improve our confidence.
“Long term, I want us to contend in the Big Ten, and I think it’s important that we get to NCAA regionals. From there you’re putting yourself in a position to do well.”
Menzel’s first month back in the Hawkeye State has been a whirlwind, but it has been worth it.
“I’ve been able to pick right back up with my enthusiasm for the University of Iowa,” she said. “It feels like I am coming home.”